BASF Digital Farming and Pessl Instruments have signed an agreement to collaborate globally on R&D activities to improve pest management in fruits and vegetables and thus boost the production.
The collaboration will pair the unique hardware and software capabilities of Pessl, specifically its automatized iSCOUT® pest trap, with the image recognition and analysis of BASF Digital Farming’s market-leading xarvio™ SCOUTING app. By combining the experience, precision data and advanced digital expertise offered by both companies in pest management, famers for the first time will get near real-time, field level observations to further optimize crop production.
The first project of the collaboration focusses on the development of comprehensive pest monitoring and modelling for grapes and pome fruits, specifically apples, targeting the activities of the grape berry moth and codling moth. This project began in early May 2021 and aims to create a fully automated pest recognition and monitoring service, which will initially be linked to xarvio SCOUTING in Argentina, Brazil, Europe and India.
The second planned joint activity will look extensively at the row crops of soybean, cotton and corn. It will focus on the observation and modelling of stink bugs, corn earworm and fall armyworm.
“One of the biggest challenges in fruit and vegetable production is getting timely field level pest monitoring data that can accurately identify the damaging or treatable stage within a pest life cycle,” says Bjoern Kiepe, Head of Agronomy xarvio, BASF Digital Farming. “By connecting xarvio SCOUTING’s image recognition and analysis with Pessl’s automatized iSCOUT pest trap we can solve this problem together. Precision farming helps ensure the more efficient use of crop protection applications, which is good for farmers, sustainability and biodiversity.”
“With monitoring pests, we aim to not just note the type of insects and the number of plants infected, but to help prevent the damage occurring in the first place. Precision farming equipment, backed with artificial intelligence, enables a more detailed focus on in-field stresses and supports better decision making. With the fully autonomous solar powered insect trap iSCOUT we can monitor the pest risk 24/7, process this data and send it in near real time to xarvio SCOUTING for image recognition. This provides farmers with a stepping-stone to improved insect monitoring and better control anytime, anywhere,” concludes Gottfried Pessl, founder and CEO of Pessl Instruments. BASF Digital Farming and Pessl Instruments expect the pest recognition and monitoring service for grapes and pome fruit will be available from 2022.